Tuesday, December 31, 2013

White Christmas

Our story starts not tonight, even though tonight is New Years Eve and it would be a good place for reflections of the past and thoughts of the future, but rather a couple of weeks back, before the whole holiday season got underway in earnest. It was during that time that I had realized that the two holidays that would be approaching, Christmas and New Years Day, would both be occurring on a Wednesday, smack dab in the middle of a week. Normally that would mean very little to me, I have usually accrued enough time from work that taking a few days off would not affect my schedule or my wallet one way or the other. The time off would be paid time for me, and whatever I missed out on at work would be somewhat tempered by the fact that the holiday season is usually pretty slow for us, both Point Park University and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh are on break and with them goes a significant amount of our business.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Penguins @ Blue Jackets 12/29/2013

Pittsburgh 5  Columbus 3

James Neal - 3 G (hat trick), 2 A

The 5 point game was a career high for Neal


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Penguins @ Hurricanes 12/27/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Carolina 3  OT

James Neal - G, 2 A

Jussi Jokinen has 6 points (3 G, 3 A) in two games against his former team this year.


Penguins @ Senators 12/23/2013

Ottawa 5  Pittsburgh 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 24 SV

Penguins lose Pascal Dupuis for the rest of the regular season with a ACL injury



Monday, December 23, 2013

Decembers to remember

12:30 am and here I am sitting outside the laundrymat typing away on the iPad again, if for no other reason than I have time to kill.  So, with a can of Pepsi beside me, and puffing on a cigarette, I guess I should come up with something clever to say.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's not art and it's not entertainment

     I am finding myself almost compelled to write about that which has been spoken about far too much recently, Phil Robertson and the show he is on, "Duck Dynasty" on the A&E channel.  In a way I come into this somewhat unprepared, for no other reason than I wouldn't be caught dead watching a show like "Duck Dynasty" to begin with.  Perhaps there is some redeeming quality to that show that I am missing, but it comes across as more mindless reality show tripe from where I am sitting.  Reality television has reached the Mad Lib stage of development where the idea for a show can be boiled down to the following formula, pick a random occupation, lifestyle or hobby, find more than one person that does it, then follow them around with cameras and see what happens.  Yes Georgia, even you can be a television producer in this day and age.

     Robertson only fell on to my radar because he recently gave an interview with GQ magazine, and in the interview he made the all too sad argument of homosexuality being a sin, then goes on to suggest that it morphs out into, amongst other things, bestiality.  Of course there never has been a correlation between the two, and to make the leap of logic that he does would be like me suggesting that since some priests have molested young children, then Christianity must breed pedophilia.  However it is not my purpose here to get into a flawed logic debate, Phil Robertson believes what he believes and he has been pretty straightforward about it from the get go.  Which is why A&E suspending him after the GQ interview makes no sense.

     A&E knew exactly who they were putting on their air long ago, Robertson's faith and beliefs were not hidden, and the folks at A&E liked the demographic the Robertson's attracted, it was why they programmed for them.  Let's not kid anyone, the idea that a gay Christian man who believed he was living in sin and was also an avid duck hunter would be a subset of a subset of a subset of the "Duck Dynasty" audience, as would the black persons who believed things were better during the Jim Crow era (another of Phil's enlightened statements) and were also avid duck hunters would again be a subset of a subset of a subset of the total audience.

     Phil Robertson's grave sin in the eyes of A&E wasn't Phil's beliefs, but that he announced them in another media besides their own when he did the GQ interview. The interview led to a deeper scrutiny of A&E and "Duck Dynasty" by people who otherwise would have been blissfully ignorant of the show.  Phil, in essence, aired the dirty secret that A&E didn't want known, that being just what type of audience A&E was pandering to all along.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Flames @ Penguins 12/21/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Calgary 3

Sidney Crosby - G, 2 A

Pittsburgh has trailed for only 3 minutes and 12 seconds in total in their last 9 games



Friday, December 20, 2013

Karaoke Friday - This is how work should always go

So I am sitting at my desk today, Brian had already left, he was taking his kids to Florida to see Ed over Christmas break, Dee had left early because she was going to a school play or something for one of Brian's kids before they left, and I am alone in the office.  Mind you that is not a new thing, I am in the office by myself every Saturday when I go in, but today was just a little different.  Brian earlier had trained me on reloading the ATM machines, one of the few things that I do not know how to do, or didn't until the last couple of days.  For a moment or three I just sat at my desk and thought to myself that pretty soon this may very well be what things are always like, Dee has a potential buyer for her house so who knows how long she may or may not be there, Ed is in Florida where he escapes most every winter and Brian really isn't around all that much, even when he is around.  At some point in the future it will probably boil down to just me running the empire and nobody else.  Ed will still do what he does from Florida, things like the payroll and the schedule, but the day to day stuff will fall squarely on my shoulders.

Wild @ Penguins 12/19/2013

Pittsburgh 5  Minnesota 2

Chris Kunitz - 2 G

Olli Maatta became just the second defenseman in Penguins history to score on a penalty shot


Penguins @ NY Rangers 12/18/2013

Pittsburgh 4  NY Rangers 3  SO

Chris Kunitz - G, A

Pittsburgh is 10-1-1 in their last 12 games




Maple Leafs @ Penguins 12/16/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Toronto 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 25 SV

Fleury is 27-3 in his last 30 starts on home ice


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Penguins @ Red Wings 12/14/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Detroit 1

Evgeni Malkin - G, 2 A

Malkin, who left the game in the third period with a leg injury, recorded his 600th NHL point in the win


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Devils @ Penguins 12/13/2013

Pittsburgh 3  New Jersey 2

Marc-Andre Fleury - 37 SV

Pittsburgh is 14-3 at home this season




Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dream a little dream for me

     Just sitting here eating a little dinner and debating whether or not I want to go to sleep tonight.  Chances are I will at some point, it is still quite early yet, being only 8:30pm and all.  But still, anymore while my sleeping schedule has been a little more regular of late, I have been going to bed most nights before 1am after all, I find myself still waking up multiple times on any give night.  The thing is, when I do go to sleep my dreams have been more vivid and in a word, weird, then I am used to.

     I had one dream a few nights ago where I was babysitting someone.  The odd thing is this person that I was babysitting was a female who, in my dream anyway, was 20 years old, though I know in real life she is actually closer to 22.  So obviously there was no need for me to be a babysitter, yet there I was doing that very thing, and I remember us going out of a house that I do not recognize, though I believe it was a house that was made into apartments, broken down in part on floors.  I say this only because we went some place and then came back and the apartment she was staying in, which was on the top floor of this house, was on fire and I remember thinking to myself that this will be the last babysitting gig I ever get.  Not that I am worried about such a thing normally, but in my dream it was a big deal.

     A night or two later I am again enjoying what should be a peaceful slumber, when I find myself standing in a toppled cornfield alongside a highway back in my hometown.  I am not the only one standing there though, there are maybe 15-20 other people standing there as well, we are watching a spectacle of sorts, cars are drag racing on the highway.  The thing is, in my mind I put a tunnel there, where there never would be one, so we would see the cars start, then enter a long tunnel and then come out at the other end, where the finish line was so we are standing there watching races that we can't see because all of the actual racing is taking place in the tunnel.  During the last race that I watched one of the cars that was involved come out of the tunnel and ran off of the road into the cornfield and rolled over next to the people that were watching the races.  Rather than do anything helpful, I just say to myself that this is incredibly boring, and I walk back to my grandmother's house (which isn't her house anymore, my cousin owns it, but in my dream it was still hers) and go inside and fall asleep on the loveseat in the living room.  When I wake up in the dream, I think to myself that I am late for work, my job is 50 some odd miles away and I have no way to get there.

     The weirdest of the dreams was last night however.  I should begin the description of it with a disclaimer, to my knowledge I have never had what I would call a violent dream, or at least one where anything that I did that was violent amounted to anything positive for me.  In those dreams usually one of a few things happen; I am in a car and I either wreck the car or the breaks either refuse to work and the car just accelerates uncontrollably; I am in some type of war scene or battle scene and I either get stabbed or shot at some point; and lastly I am in a fight with someone and even if I punch the other person involved or fight back in any way, it is like I am the 98 lb. weakling who always gets sand kicked in his face, any punch I throw lands weakly or has absolutely no effect.  All of which makes last night's dream so odd.

     I am walking with someone who can best be described as an amalgam of the three worst relationships I ever had.  It is a little bit of a stretch to be sure, but they all were dark haired and while their body types aren't all the same, they would not be considered grossly different either, so this person wasn't necessarily any single one of them, but almost like all three of them at the same time.  We are walking along something that turns into a boat dock of some sort, and while we are walking the impression is that this person is going to be moving into my residence with me.  We get to the end of the dock and she climbs down a ladder of about 5 to 6 rungs and gets into a boat below, where she begins to start grabbing things from the boat that she wants to move into my place, including a stack of 45 records.  I am standing on the pier thinking how much I don't want to be there, when I reach into my pocket to grab my cigarettes, thinking I might as well smoke while I wait.  Except my cigarettes are missing, I remember that while we were walking I left them on the window sill of a building we passed and I decide I should go back and get them, so I kick the ladder into the boat so she can't follow me, then proceed back the way we came to get my cigarettes.  Just as I am getting to the window sill where I left them, another guy is also approaching them.  I yell that those are my cigarettes, but he doesn't care, he picks up the pack, takes one out and lights it for himself.  I ask again for my cigarettes and he just laughs at me, so I punch him in the face twice and his face swells up almost instantly.  Literally a third of his face is swollen when he lifts his head and looks at me.   He reaches into his pocket and pulls out something halfway between a switchblade and a knife and is holding it in front of me, but before he can do anything with it I grab him by the wrist that is holding the knife and bend it back until I hear the snapping of the bones in his hand and he drops the knife, then I reach into his shirt pocket and grab my cigarettes, light one up and walk away.

     So as I am sitting here writing I am wondering just what awaits me when I close my eyes for the evening.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blue Jackets @ Penguins 12/09/2013

Pittsburgh 2  Columbus 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 32 SV

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each scored a goal, remain #1 and #2 respectively in points in the NHL (Crosby 43, Malkin 38)


Penguins @ Bruins 12/07/2013

Boston 3  Pittsburgh 2

Matt Niskanen - 2 A

Brooks Orpik left the game on a stretcher with a concussion, James Neal suspended for 5 games for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head



Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bus stops

Good morning.   8am here and already I am waiting for my second bus on what promises to be a fairly long day.  I have made one trip into work already, in part because I left my iPad on my desk yesterday and wanted to pick it up sooner rather than later.  See the thing is, I have grown somewhat accustomed to blogging on the iPad, usually is just put a note together for myself, then when I get home I email myself the note and copy and paste from the email to the blog.  I know there is a copy function on here, but it is such a pain to use that it is just easier the other way.  So the iPad allows me to blog while I am standing here waiting on bus #2 rather than just stand here looking all absent minded.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Karaoke Friday - I am what I am

Life has been hectic recently to say the least, as evidenced by the fact that I haven't posted one of these in a couple of weeks.  I guess I still haven't quite got my blogging groove quite back yet.  It has more to do with time to blog than a feeling to blog, which I guess is good.  There are plenty of times when I think to myself that I am on he verge of something that might be blog worthy, but it ends up being at a most inopportune time of the day, and until I get home and get settled in I am just to tired to mentally map out what I was thinking about earlier in the day.  Perhaps I just need to recommit to what it is I am actually doing here, and just as some people make time for themselves to go to the gym, or to sit down and read (something else that has been lacking on my part recently given I haven't updated Shelfari to the left in a while) I just need to set a time where it is just me and the page and whatever happens happens.  It is in that vane that I give you this week's selection, what I always thought the blog was at some point and what I hope it will become again.


Sharks @ Penguins 12/05/2013

Pittsburgh 5  San Jose 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 44 SV

Pittsburgh is 16-1 this year when scoring the first goal






Penguins @ NY Islanders 12/03/2013

Pittsburgh 3  NY Islanders 2  OT

Sidney Crosby - 2 G

Evgeni Malkin posted 21 assists in November, the most assists in a month since Wayne Gretzky had 21 in January 1996.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Penguins @ Panthers 11/30/2013

Pittsburgh 5  Florida 1

Evgeni Malkin - G, 3 A

Malkin has recorded at least one point in the last 8 games (4 G, 13 A)



Penguins @ Lightning 11/29/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Tampa Bay 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 21 SV

Sidney Crosby assisted on all three Pittsburgh goals, leads the NHL with 36 points


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Maple Leafs @ Penguins 11/27/2013

Pittsburgh 6  Toronto 5  SO

Evgeni Malkin - 2 G, A

Pittsburgh came back from being down 4-1, in pat by not allowing Toronto to register a shot in the 3rd period or overtime


Penguins @ Bruins 11/25/2013

Boston 4  Pittsburgh 3  OT

James Neal  2 G, A

Pittsburgh lost despite having a 31-23 advantage in shots for the game




Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas list 2013 edition

It is that time of year again, after a I have some traditions around here that I wish to maintain, one of which is ye olde annual Christmas list. Must like previous years you will find some things repeating themselves, either because I did not receive them the previous year (to which I say get on the ball already), or because I received them but I have since run out (food will only keep for so long after all). The list is incomplete, I am sure there are things out there which I probably want and haven't even realized I want them yet, so feel free to go off the reservation as it were when thinking of what to buy.

Penguins @ Canadiens 11/23/2013

Montreal 3  Pittsburgh 2

James Neal - 2 G

With 2 assists Evgeni Makin is tied for the NHL lead with 22


Thankful?

     4:55 pm, probably not the time to have breakfast, but Sunday is my day off and let's be honest, it is just a tad cold outside.  There is something to be said for not getting out from under the covers on a day where I real didn't have to.  But I am tired of not doing anything on my days off, it is time I do something even if I don't really have to do it.


Islanders @ Penguins 11/22/2013

Pittsburgh 4  NY Islanders 3

Chris Kunitz - 2 G, A

Sidney Crosby scored GW goal with 1:16 remaining, it was the 250th goal of his NHL career


Friday, November 22, 2013

Penguins @ Capitals 11/20/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Washington 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 18 SV

With two assists, Evgeni Malkin has recorded 12 assists  in 9 games in November


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Promises kept

    I think in a recent post I had mentioned something about the change meter and the fact that I really hadn't posted anything about it.  Well upon doing some research I realized that it had indeed been quite a while, I haven't mentioned it since all of January to be precise.  Back then the total was $367.67, but since then I have found a decent amount of money, another $88.47 to be precise so I guess there is a new total for the board, I am now up to $456.14.  Maybe I should throw a party or something once I get to $500.  But then I haven't been marking milestones of recent, if I had been I would have thrown a party the other day as well, as my 1300th post made the page.  Of course I did not write all of them here, some were imported from Yahoo 360, most were imported from Multiply, but nonetheless the total for this account is now over 1300.  And many of you are probably still waiting for me to say something of significance, to which I would say, don't hold your breath.

     I am just typing tonight, waiting for the Thursday Night Football game to kick off between Atlanta and New Orleans.  Not really sure why,  I am not a fan of either team.  It is barely of interest in my fantasy football matchup either, I have the kicker for New Orleans, my opponent has Atlanta's kicker.  Hardly what I would call compelling viewing.  Not that it isn't a big week for my fantasy football team, because it is.  I am currently in first place in my league where 4 teams sport identical 7-4 records, I hold the top spot because of the tiebreaker (points scored), my opponent this week is also 7-4 and he is in 2nd place.  So it is #1 versus #2.  Somehow the schedule worked out that the top 6 teams are all playing each other this weekend as #3 is playing #5 and #4 is playing #6, so at the end of the weekend there could be as many as 3 teams sporting 8-4 records or there could be just 1.  Likewise by the end of the weekend I could be anywhere from 1st to 4th place with two weeks remaining. 

     Tomorrow is Light Up Night in Pittsburgh, I haven't decided if I will stay downtown and take pictures after work or if I will just come home and avoid all of the bustle that comes with the holiday nonsense.  Not that I find the holiday nonsensical in and of itself, but Christmas is still better than a month away yet, not sure I am ready to have it crammed down my throat already.  Of course that means if I were a Fox News fan (and I am not, cable news as a rule sucks), it would be time to gear up the "War on Christmas" stories.  Trust me, if we can stretch a one day holiday into a two month spectacular, then those people that are apparently fighting against Christmas are seeing themselves get their asses kicked.  Argentina had a better chance in the Falkland Islands.

     Anyway, I best go see if my kicker has done anything yet.  Or bake a pie or something.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ducks @ Penguins 11/18/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Anaheim 1

Brian Gibbons - G, A

Gibbons was playing his first NHL game, he was called up from the minors 12 hours earlier




Monday, November 18, 2013

Penguins @ Devils 11/16/2013

New Jersey 4  Pittsburgh 1

Chris Kunitz - G

Pittsburgh has lost 4 of 5, scoring a total of 4 goals in those losses


Reclaimed

Okay, so it has been two months now and I am slowly getting my house back in order.  Not in the literal sense, my apartment is still a mess, but at least in the figurative one.  Things are starting to fall back into more of a pre-relationship routine for me, though I am not sure whether that is any of my doing personally or if I have just went above and beyond the call when it comes to avoiding things.

Since the relationship ended work has been both a blessing and a curse, a blessing because I can always get myself lost in things that need to be done there, but a curse because the more I focus on work, the more I start to realize just how dysfunctional things can be there.  In the span of two months we have fired two people, another one quit and my hours have stacked up accordingly, 123 hours last pay period and 110 hours for the current one.  Plus tomorrow begins the process of replacing the existing register system with a brand new one.  Hopefully this one will work better than the last one did.  On the plus side the people who are providing the new system are also going to train us on it and stick around long enough to make sure everything is running properly, which in and of itself is more than what the last company did.

Socially my life is starting to get back on track as well.  I haven't started dating, not that I am against the idea just really haven't pursued it all that much, but I managed to get back into a routine of going out to breakfast on weekends with family and friends, I reconnected with two other friends whom I have not spoken to in years, Hope and Debbie.  Hope I have written about in the blog before, Debbie I may have written about, though if I did it would have been eons ago so I can't recall when I would have done so.  Debbie used to date one of my friends in high school, so at first we were probably more just acquaintances than anything else, but as time passed we developed a friendship independent of that.  We even shared rented a house for a while (along with two other people) but time and interests saw us drift apart, she would get married and move to Virginia, as for me, well most of you can read back and get an inkling as to what I have been up to for the last decade or so.   Anyway as luck and my curiosity would have it, I did manage to locate her on Facebook the other day and lo and behold, she again lives back in this area and on Thursday we are going to lunch to catch up.

As I am writing I am sitting at the Squirrel Cage again, I got here even before they opened the kitchen so I have had plenty of uninterrupted blogging time to this point.  Sitting here is also part of getting my life back on track, as much of what I have done here in Pittsburgh over the last two years had been touched by my previous relationship.  Just the other day I was at work and we needed some office supplies so I volunteered to go to Office Depot after work and pick up a few things.  Everything was fine until I got to the Waterfront to go shopping when I realized the last time I was there was with Ruth.  So each venture out is in some measure a reclamation project, taking back what is rightfully my home and once again making new memories for myself here.  Each day it gets a little easier, the proverbial one step at a time approach to life.

I have even started to venture back into my pontificating ways as it were.  While I haven't gotten to the point where I want to blog about anything political, I do find myself comment more on other people's posts in other forums, offering my own brand of insight that hopefully soon will go from just a couple of sentences elsewhere and blossom into full fledged arguments on this page.

Well it looks like they have opened the kitchen, which is good because I am starting to get hungry here.  I usually do not like to come to the Cage on Mondays, my regular bartender isn't here and while I am sure the guy behind the bar is more than capable, he never makes fresh brewed iced tea, so I am relegated to the raspberry iced tea syrupy concoction that they have on the soda gun behind the bar.  It's okay, but just not what I want when I am in the mood for iced tea.

I know that there are a few things that the blog is still missing, I haven't added to the change meter in quite some time.  I have been maintaining it, even if I haven't updated the total on the page in quite some time.  Rest assured that problem will be fixed in the very near future.  Nor have I done much as far as updating what my fantasy sports teams have been doing this year.  Like most years I have a fantasy football and a fantasy hockey team this year.  The fantasy football team has been doing okay, I am 6-4 so far and in second place with a shot tonight of taking over first place (via a tiebreaker) and a game next weekend with the guy currently residing in first place.  Fantasy hockey hasn't been as good, I fell asleep after work and missed the online draft to kick off the new season.  Then after a torrid start, my team has settled into a run of mediocrity that has me in fourth place out of five teams.  Yes, I know, that ain't so good.

Well lookie there, I just learned something.  As I was going to type in the last sentence of the previous paragraph, I was thinking about the word "ain't", knowing full well that on my iPad spell check has a was of screwing with me, so I was expecting to get some indication that I was using an improper word, instead the iPad was more than content with my using of "ain't", so perhaps it is proper English after all.

I am really not ready for this winter.  As I am sitting here eating it is just 5:10pm and already it is getting dark outside.  I want my warm and sunny days back, not these abbreviated days where I no more than get done with work and I am asking myself where all of the daylight went.  Nor am I all that ready for the coming holidays, in past years I would take time off so I could be with my family, I was far enough up the seniority ladder in what I was doing that I would have first dibs on getting time off, but now that I am, dare I say it, management, I have the least seniority.  While I am sure I could get holidays off if I demanded them, part of me feels that I still need to prove myself in this new role and that the store(s) should not be left completely unattended by management on holidays.  If we can ask our employees to be there then the least we can do is have a presence there also.  Since I am the manager with the least tenure, then that obligation falls to me.  I know that isn't how things were done in the past, on most holidays you would be lucky to see a manager there but I guess I just view things a little differently then past management regimes.  I will not ask anyone to do something that they don't see me doing myself, including working holidays if needed.

Well, I have just about finished my dinner and I really do not want to stick around for more of this raspberry tea so it is probably time for me to pack up the iPad, pay my check and drag myself back to work, I still have two lottery machines that need loaded at our Oakland store, as well as check in with the people working there.  Another of my bad management habits, I do make it a point to check in with all of our shift leaders as much as possible, sometimes to see how things are running, sometimes to get input from them in things that might make us run better and sometimes just to be a sounding board so they can vent if they need to.  Anyway, I better get moving, the lottery machines do not fill themselves.  Oh how I wish they did.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Predators @ Penguins 11/15/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Nashville 1

Evgeni Malkin - 2 A

Win snaps a three game losing streak for Pittsburgh




Flyers @ Penguins 11/13/2013

Philadelphia 2  Pittsburgh 1

Sidney Crosby - G

Pittsburgh is 0-4 when scoring 3 or fewer goals this season




Monday, November 11, 2013

Penguins @ Blues 11/09/2013

St Louis 2  Pittsburgh 1

Jussi Jokinen - G

St Louis is one of only 4 teams that Sidney Crosby has never scored a goal against (St Louis, San Jose, Edmonton, Chicago)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A thousand reasons to blog

Today started as pretty much every Saturday starts, okay maybe not quite every Saturday, I was a bit slower getting things underway than usual, not leaving my place until 12:30pm or so, but then the schedule pretty much fell into form.  I first went to Gus Miller's, checked to see which instant tickets I needed, emptied the bill collectors, then went to Smithfield News.  Once there I repeated the process with our instant ticket machine, none of the tickets were empty so I just had to empty the bill collector.  I counted the money from both stores, then grabbed the tickets to refill the machines at Gus Miller's and hopped a bus back to reload the machine.  Good thing I did because between the time I was first there and me coming back one of the bill collectors jammed, so I had to fix the machine as well.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Karaoke Friday - Simple as 1,2,3

Another stressful week at work, that is becoming the rule these days and not the exception.  I have an idea or three in my head of what direction the business needs to go in if it wishes to remain successful, or in some cases even viable, but to get to that point I am just smashing my head against a brick wall.  What a sad inspiration for this week's KF entry I know, but it seems to be appropraite, at least to me



Never been near a university,
Never took a paper or a learned degree,
And some of your friends think that's stupid of me,
But it's nothing that I care about.

Well I don't know how to tell the weight of the sun,
And of mathematics well I want none,
And I may be the Mayor of Simpleton,
But I know one thing,
And that's I love you.
When their logic grows cold and all thinking gets done,
You'll be warm in the arms of the Mayor of Simpleton.

I can't have been there when brains were handed round
(please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton),
Or get past the cover of your books profound,
(please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton),
And some of your friends thinks it's really unsound,
That you're ever seen talking to me.

Well I don't know how to write a big hit song,
And all crossword puzzles well I just shun,
And I may be the Mayor of Simpleton,
But I know one thing,
And that's I love you.

I'm not proud of the fact that I never learned much,
Just feel I should say,
What you get is all real,
I can't put on an act,
It takes brains to do that anyway. (And anyway...)

And I can't unravel riddles, problems and puns,
How the home computer has me on the run,
And I may be the Mayor of Simpleton,
But I know one thing,
And that's I love you (I love you).

If depth of feeling is a currency,
(please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton),
Then I'm the man who grew the money tree,
(no Chain of Office and no hope of getting one).
Some of your friends are too brainy to see,
That they're paupers and that's how they'll stay.

Well I don't know how many pounds make up a ton,
Of all the Nobel prizes that I've never won,
And I may be the Mayor of Simpleton,
But I know one thing,
And that's I love you.

When all logic grows cold and all thinking gets done,
You'll be warm in the arms of the Mayor of Simpleton.
You'll be warm in the arms of the Mayor of Simpleton.
You'll be warm in the arms of the Mayor.
(Please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Penguins @ NY Rangers 11/06/2013

NY Rangers 5  Pittsburgh 1

Kris Letang - G

Loss ends a 4 game winning streak for Pittsburgh


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Penguins @ Blue Jackets 11/02/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Columbus 0

Jeff Zatkoff - 19 SV

Zatkoff records his first shutout and first win in the NHL


Blue Jackets @ Penguins 11/01/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Columbus 2

Evgeni Malkin - 2 A

Pittsburgh won despite being handily outshot by Columbus 39-27


Friday, November 1, 2013

Bruins @ Penguins 10/30/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Boston 2

Jussi Jokinen, Brandon Sutter, Chris Kunitz - G each




First meeting of the season for these two teams, Pittsburgh swept Boston last year during the regular season, Boston swept Pittsburgh in the playoffs

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Karaoke Friday - Where I ruin Halloween

I know it is not Friday, you need not harp on it.  At least this time the video in question is early and not late, so that is a plus.  Actually I have tickets for the Penguins game tomorrow night, followed by a shift early Saturday morning so the chance I would get to post anything if I do not do it now is very slim.

This week I thought I would combine Halloween with truly bad music, the bad music part is pretty easy for me, but the Halloween part is a bit trickier.  I jogged through my mental rolodex and came up with this.  Hope you enjoy, but I imagine you will not.  Happy Halloween!!!!


I, I, I, I, I, I, I am being haunted
It's four o'clock in the morning
And I'm sitting on my stairs
And there's bangin' 'round the bedroom
Even though I know there's no one there
And I am here all by myself
And you're somewhere else with someone else
And I am being haunted by a love that isn't there
There is something in my house, my house
It's just a ghost of the long, long dead affair
There is something in my house, my house
I just keep a hearing, you runnin' on up my stairs but you're not there
I, I, I, I, I, I, I am being haunted
I really gotta say it to ya
Ya showed me a good time
But for every minute that you spent laughin'
There were hours that I cried
And I think about what might have been
If I'd never meant that wicked way
That my heart broke into pieces that midnight on Halloween
There is something in my house, my house
It's just a ghost of the long, long dead affair
There is something in my house, my house
I just keep a hearing, you runnin' on up my stairs but you're not there
It's just a ghost of the long, long dead affair
There is something in my house, my house
But you're not there
I, I, I, I, I, I, I am being haunted
And I am here all by myself
And you're somewhere else with someone else
And I am being haunted by a love that isn't there
There is something in my house, my house
It's just a ghost of the long, long dead affair
There is something in my house, my house
I just keep a hearing, you runnin' on up my stairs but you're not there
It's just a ghost of the long long dead affair
There is something in my house, my house
But you're not there
I am being haunted
I am, I am, I am, I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Penguins @ Hurricanes 10/28/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Carolina 1

Brooks Orpik - 3 A

Jayson Megna recorded his first two NHL points (G, A) in the win


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Who's next?

     Just sitting here on a Tuesday night, I know it has been a few days since I last put cursor to wordpad and generated anything, but there is reason for that.  However I have my Pandora station working in the background here, so just maybe I will be able to relax a little bit and get some words to come forth.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Penguins @ Maple Leafs 10/26/2013

Toronto 4  Pittsburgh 1

Kris Letang - G

Pittsburgh has lost their last three games




Islanders @ Penguins 10/25/2013

NY Islanders 4  Pittsburgh 3

Matt Niskanen - 2 A

Jeff Zatkoff is 0-2 with a .818 save percentage and a 5.04 goals against average in two starts for Pittsburgh


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Karaoke Friday - Just because

Not a lot of backstory to this week's entry, it was on my Pandora station again this week while I was doing paperwork at the desk of despair and just made a mental note that I would need a musical selection for this Friday.  Lo and behold, we have said musical selection




All non-believers stand aside in fear
A new day's marching through the door
How could you ever think you'd make it here?
Did it bleed? Was it sore?
Through the struggles you've endured.

You've come so far from innocence
Provided all the consequence
Only what does it matter now?

Cause you're going home
You're running free
As only you would be if you never owed them anything
And now you've found your way out
In the trust you've seen your path on home

Spend your time well before you go
Here in hell

Your living ends before the engineer
What was your motive in this fight?
(did they play you for the weaker of them?)
How could you ever think you'd make it here?
Was it greed that pushed your heart through the struggles you've endured?

You've come so far from innocence
Provided all the consequence
Only what does it matter now?

Cause you're going home
You're running free
As only you would be if you never owed them anything
And now you've found your way out
In the trust you've seen your path on home

Spend your time well before you go
Here in hell

(There's a hell in all of us)
Spend your time well before you go...
(There's a hell in all of...)
In a lost that's all your own
(There's a hell in all of us)
There are no secrets you can hide
(There's a hell in all of...)
From yourself, in your mind, leave the worst of all behind

Cause you're going home
You're running free
As only you would be if you never owed them anything
And now you've found your way out
In the trust you've seen your path on home

Cause you're going home
You're running free
As only you would be if you never owed them anything
And now you've found your way out
In the trust you've seen your path on home

Spend your time well before you go
Here in hell

Hell of a week (so far)

     First off I guess I should say thanks.  I was busy looking at my Google analytics before I began this blog entry and as it turns out since I got back into writing 8 of my 10 most popular entries ever have occurred since I returned to the page.  I am under no illusion that my writing has somehow become vastly improved compared to some of my older scribblings so perhaps the adage absence make the heart grow fonder is indeed true, or maybe it is just a curiosity killed the cat thing, in any event I wanted to start this entry off by saying thanks anyway, it is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Avalanche @ Penguins 10/22/2013

Colorado 1  Pittsburgh 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 13 SV

Pittsburgh suffered their first home loss despite outshooting Colorado 34-14


Sunday, October 20, 2013

One in three

My spot. I know the last time I blogged from ye olde iPad it was from a spot where Hope and I used to sit, but today I am writing from what I would call my spot, just a bench next to the playground in Schenley Park. As I sit here there are kids playing on the playground, not as many as in the summer, but the weather is getting a little bit cooler which I imagine cuts down on the attendance. Plus it is Sunday, which means the Steelers will be playing and it is not a stretch to think that some people would stay home to watch the football game.
My blogging bench

Canucks @ Penguins 10/19/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Vancouver 3  SO

Sidney Crosby - G, 2 A

Pittsburgh remains unbeaten at home (5-0-0)


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was the big day of sorts. It has been 25 months, but it has also been one month. I guess I should explain myself a little before I go forward.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Karaoke Friday - What an entrance

I posted some pictures on the blog about a week ago, I was lucky enough to get some tickets to see WWE Raw when it was filmed here in Pittsburgh.  While I haven't been much of a wrestling fan recently, I pretty much stopped watching the product shortly after Chris Benoit murdered his family,  it was still an experience for me to see it live and in person for the first time.  There have been plenty of wrestling events in Pittsburgh in the past, but for any of a number of reasons I was never able to see it live, so I went more because of the novelty of the event for me than any love of wrestling in particular.

It was my trip to see wrestling though that inspires this week's karaoke entry.  As any avid viewer of the product knows, the wrestlers often come to the ring with their own entrance music.  Probably my favorite   would be Edge's entrance theme, "Metalingus" by Alter Bridge.

But what if I were to have an entrance theme?  Just what would it be?    I think it just might be this...



The main attraction, distraction
Got ya number than number than numb
Empty ya pockets son, they got you thinkin' that
What ya need is what they selling
Make you think that buying is rebelling
From the theaters to malls on every shore
Tha thin line between entertainment and war
The front line is everywhere, there be no shelter here
Spielberg, the nightmare works so push it far
Amistad was a whip, the truth was feathered and tarred
Memory erased, burned and scarred
Trade in ya history for a VCR
Cinema, simulated life, ill drama
Fourth Reich culture, Americana
Chained to the dream they got ya searchin' for
Tha thin line between entertainment and war
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
Hospitals not profit full
Yet market bulls got pockets full
To advertise some hip disguise
View tha world from American eyes
Tha poor adore keep fiendin' for more
Tha thin line between entertainment and war
They fix the need, develop the taste
Buy their products or get laid to waste
Coca Cola is back in the veins of Saigon
And Rambo too, he got a dope pair of Nikes on
Godzilla, pure muthafuckin' filler
To keep ya eyes off the real killer
Cinema, simulated life, ill drama
Fourth Reich culture, Americana
Chained to the dream they got ya searchin' for
Tha thin line between entertainment and war
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
There be no shelter here
Tha front line is everywhere
American eyes, American eyes
View the world from American eyes
Bury the past, rob us blind
And leave nothing behind
American eyes, American eyes
View the world from American eyes
Bury the past, rob us blind
And leave nothing behind
Just stare
Just stare
Just stare
Just stare
Relive the nightmare

Penguins @ Flyers 10/17/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Philadelphia 1

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin - G, A each

Crosby has recorded at lest one point in the Penguins first seven games of the season




Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Oilers @ Penguins 10/15/2013

Pittsburgh 3  Edmonton 2

Sidney Crosby - 3 A

Crosby leads the NHL in scoring with 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in 6 games


Monday, October 14, 2013

Refresh-ments

And it has come down to this.  Most people here in Pittsburgh are probably getting ready to call it a night, brush their teeth, put on some pjs and climb into bed.  Not me though, not yet.  Thus is the life of a fantasy football team owner.

I entered tonight trailing in my fantasy game by less than 11pts, but my opponent has seen all of his players play, whereas I still had Andrew Luck, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts on my team and the Colts are playing tonight against the San Diego Chargers.  11pts from a quarterback usually isn't that big of an obstacle to overcome, in fact based on what Yahoo sports projected my score would be, I should end up winning tonight rather easily.

Funny thing about projections though, they are not reality, if reality can exist in a fantasy sports game. So as I am typing to you right now, Andrew Luck has contributed 5 points to my team and the game has entered the second half of play, and the Colts are trailing 13-6.  So I am scoreboard watching, or at least statistical board watching, hoping that somehow Luck (and right now I may need a little Luck) can come up with 6 points in the next 30 minutes of football, without making any drastic mistakes. 

As I type, the margin has shrunk ever so slightly, I now only trail 89.38-85.16, but I am down to 20 minutes of game time left.  I have lost two games already this year, one by less than two points, and a third loss may be the difference at the end of the year between being in the top four and qualifying for the playoffs and spending another year wondering "What if?"    Check that, I now have 85.76 points, the lead is less than 4 points for my opponent but the Colts have punted the ball away.

For all of the talk about how fantasy sports aren't real and it is just a game, I think this is why I like them so much.  A simple game, being played thousands of miles away, and the home team (Pittsburgh Steelers) not playing, and yet here I am on the edge of my seat because this game now has meaning to me specifically.  And I am sure there are people out there to whom tonight this same type of story is being played out.  Okay, so maybe they don't have my exact roster, but tonight maybe they have Andrew Luck in their league, or perhaps it is Ty Hilton, or Philip Rivers, or Antonio Gates; but for them and their fantasy team a potential win or loss may hang in the balance on one play that was made, or a played that was missed.  A pass was caught, or a pass was overthrown.  A fumble occurred.  A penalty had a potential scoring play called back.  Any of a number of things can happen in any given week, in any particular game and that one play, or two plays make make the difference between a win and a loss.  Not that every game comes down to one or two plays, like any game, sometimes you lose and it wasn't all that close, or you started someone who got hurt early on and you spent the rest of the weekend playing short handed, but it is moments like this, where a game hangs in the balance, the difference between a win and a loss hanging on the next 15 minutes of football, that are the call of this game for me.  It adds excitement in a place where there wouldn't normally be any. 

So excuse me if I don't write anything significant tonight, I think I will be hitting the refresh button on my league website every few minutes or so for the next 30 minutes, just to see if I can pull out a win, or suffer a gut wrenching loss.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Detours

Can't say as I planned on my day ending up this way, but to a certain degree it has become expected, and I guess part of it is my own fault anyway.

Penguins @ Lightning 10/13/2013

Pittsburgh 5  Tampa Bay 4

Sidney Crosby - Hat Trick (3 G), A

Crosby has recorded a point in every game this season (5 games)




Saturday, October 12, 2013

Penguins @ Panthers 10/11/2013

Florida 6  Pittsburgh 3

Evgeni Malkin, Craig Adams, Pascal Dupuis - G each

Craig Adams has 3 goals in 4 games, he had 3 goals in 48 games last year




Friday, October 11, 2013

Karaoke Friday - No!

Wondering what I should do about a Karaoke Friday now that I am back on a semi regular basis.  I didn't want to go the route I went last week, where I am pretty sure I did use that song once way, way back when I was a wee blogger.  So instead I decided rather than make a choice, I would let someone, or something, make the choice for me.  So I hopped over to my Pandora station and the first song that came up was the winner this week.  And lo and behold, this is what I got






Oh, kiss me
Lick your cigarette then kiss me
Kiss me where your eye won't meet me
Meet me where your mind won't kiss me
Lick your eyes and mine and then hit me
Hit me with your eyes so sweetly
Oh, you know, you know, you know that, yes, I love
I mean I'd love to get to know you
Do you never wonder?
No, no, no, no
You girls never know, oh, no, you girls will never know
No, you girls never know how you make a boy feel
You girls never know, oh, no, you girls will never know
No, you girls never know how you make a boy feel
How you make a boy
Oh, kiss me
Lick your cigarette and then kiss me
Kiss me where your eye won't meet me
Meet me where your eye won't lick me
Lick your mind and mine so briefly
Oh, you know, you know you're so sweetly
Oh, you know, you know, I know that I love you
I mean I, I mean I need to love
Do you never wonder?
No, no, no, no
You girls never know, oh, no, you girls will never know
No, you girls never know how you make a boy feel
You girls never know, oh, no, you girls will never know
No, you girls never know how you make a boy feel
How you make a boy feel, how you make a boy
Sometimes I say stupid things that I think
Well, I mean, I, sometimes I think the stupidest things
Because I never wonder how the girl feels
Oh, how the girl feels
No, you boys never care, oh, no, you boys will never care
No, you boys never care, how the girl feels
You boys never care, you dirty boys will never care
No, you boys never care, how the girl feels
Oh, how the girl feels, oh, how the girl feels


Idle musings

And so it begins, another trip to the Squirrel Cage, just a way for me to relax and unwind as we near the end of another week. I say near because of course I will be in again on Saturday morning to do my usual grocery order and I have bills that have been voucher end that need filed, as well as the better part of a week's worth of invoices that need done yet.
Not that my Friday is over yet, when I get done eating dinner (I am craving me a Cajun chicken sandwich right about now) I still have to go to our Oakland store and reload the lottery machine for this weekend. So while I am leaving work, this is more like a break than the actual end of my day.
I am sitting on the back of the 65 Squirrel Hill, it is a bus route that stops right outside where I work and while it runs within a block or so of my apartment today I am riding it past that point, through Schenley Park and right into Squirrel Hill. After all, it would be pretty stupid if the Squirrel Cage were located in, say, Morningside, wouldn't it?
Honestly I have no idea just where it is that I am going with this entry, just going to write and see what comes of it. I have noticed an uptick in traffic on my page since I came back. I guess writing helps in that regard. Of course linking this on my Facebook page probably helps as well. So there are some check ins that are people that have been around for a while, just as there are some check ins from new places as well. Not all of them are necessarily wanted, both Ruth and her boy toy Dean have been on here multiple times. Perhaps if Dean's wife Anne were aware of what her husband was doing in his free time, he might be more worried about things at home and less worried about things here.
My food has arrived, and as is always it is scrumdillyicious. I just love me some fresh cut French fries. The obligatory iced tea arrived again without me even requesting it. Me thinks they know me a tad to well here.
We got our swap of tickets this week at work, the store has season tickets to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we swap with our grocery provider where we give them seats to 4 Steeler games and in turn they give us tickets to 8 Pittsburgh Penguin games. So far they have sent us tickets to 7 games, 2 against Philadelphia, 2 against New York (Rangers), 2 against Washington and 1 against Vancouver. Each game we get 4 seats in the Captain Morgan Club (face value 172.50 each) and hopefully it will be able to go to one of the games, though that will be up to those higher up the totem pole than me. I know that I will be asked to try and sell some of them, just as I was handed the task of selling the Pittsburgh Pirate playoff tickets this month. The Pirates had three home games before being eliminated in the National League Division Series 3 games to 2. We had 4 tickets to each of those games, the wild card play in game where the face value of the tickets was $37 and I managed to get $100 each for them and the NLDS where we had 8 tickets (4 for each game) and the price went to $44 each, I managed to get $250 for each of those tickets. I got a small commission for my work (5 percent), so I am not complaining too much. It is one of the times I am glad that I am the only one in the office who knows anything about the internet. The prices may seem like people overpaid to see a game, but really it is just a testament to how starved this town was for a winning baseball team after 20+ years of futility. Many people that were going to the games have never actually seen a winning team ever, unless they were watching another team play on TV.
I forgot how spicy a good Cajun chicken sandwich can be. I am out if iced tea and my tongue is all tingly, so I am stopping for a cigarette until either my tea gets refilled ( though the bartender is really busy) or until my tongue calms down a bit.
I have a running joke with Sammy at work. It used to be that whenever one of us was having trouble in their relationship, the other one was getting along very well with their significant other. So the other day when I went in to work, I looked at Sammy and said "Since my relationship is over that can mean only one thing, you have to get married to keep the karma between us in balance."
What else can I write about as I sit here? Hmmmm. Well I did draft another fantasy football team this year, though the league I had been in for 20+ years has officially disbanded. I suppose I should be sad about it, it was a good collection of guys and it was fun and all, but it was starting to get to be a bit much with everyone scattered all across North America trying to find a time when we would all be online at the same time, then trying to collect money from everyone and all of the arm twisting that goes into that process (ask any fantasy league commissioner how much fun that can be). On one hand you are friends with everyone, so you don't want to come off as a prick, on the other you almost have to send someone out to break kneecaps to get some people to pay up. It was much easier when we all drank in the same bar, now it is an exercise in futility. This year I just opted to hop into a free league on Yahoo ( one of the few things Yahoo has that still works), and drafted a team there. After 5 weeks I am in third place ( based on the point scored tie breaker) with a 3-2 record. Of course my team is slowly being knee capped as well ( perhaps they didn't pay their league entry fee). David Wilson, who single handedly cost me a win in week 1 by registering negative points, hurt his neck and is out, Owen Daniels broke his leg and will miss 4 to 6 weeks, and both Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson are nursing injuries at this point and will be game time decisions on Sunday. At this rate I will just have the last man standing turn out the lights on my fantasy season.
Well the bar is filling up, I should probably finish my iced tea and head back into work. Time to make the donuts.

No writing here

Just some pics from Monday night and my first live wrestling event.  Pluses would include appearances by Bruno Sammartino (he lives in Pittsburgh and it was his birthday the day before, so the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him, and Shawn Michaels.  Minuses would be no AJ Lee, of which I am still heartbroken.





































































































































































































































Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hurricanes @ Penguins 10/8/2013

Pittsburgh 5  Carolina 2

Jussi Jokinen - Hat Trick (3 G)

Pittsburgh is off to their best start (3-0-0) since 1994-1995 when they won their first 7 games


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The last Sexican

The writing was on the wall, or at least the door for a few months now. The name of the restaurant two doors down from where I worked changed, gone was the name “Mexico City” and in it's places was “Vicky's Mexican Restaurant”. The menu didn't change, nor did the staff that worked there, only the name changed. I can't speak as to the quality of food, OI never actually ate there, but whether it was good or bad I can't see where that changed very much either since they kept all of the staff on board. Usually this is a sign, and not a good one, one that suggests an attempt to dodge creditors or existing debts. But continuing to do the same thing, under any name, when that thing wasn't working in the past does not bode well for a business's future.

Shave and a haircut

     Just got back from the live broadcast of WWE Raw ere in Pittsburgh tonight.  Wasn't on my agenda when I first started the day, but through a little bit of luck and just being at the right place (work) at the right time, I ended up with tickets to the show.  What happened was that our owner, Brian, had requested tickets for the next WWE event in Pittsburgh from 7 Up.  7 Up has the beverage rights to Consol Energy Center, so they are also afforded a box in the building, and they will sometimes use the seats in their box as a perk for their more favored accounts.  Brian was scheduled to get four of those tickets for tonight's show, he was going to take his kids, not realizing that when he first requested them that the show would end up being on a school night, making taking children a less than advisable proposition, since by the time the show ended and he had driven home it would be after midnight.  Son instead he decided not to take his kids, leaving us at the store with four free seats to tonight's show.  I had never actually been to a live wrestling show, so I wanted to go and I knew that Sammy was asking about the show for weeks now, so he and I used two of the four tickets and just had a fun night out, a night which I probably needed more than I would care to admit.

     I have been spending too much time recently rethinking everything that has taken place in the last two years between Ruth and I, mentally going over everything and trying to discern just what was truthful and what was a lie.  The more I think about everything though, the more I end up falling back on Occam's razor, the idea that the simplest explanation for things is usually the correct one.  The simplest explanation for most everything that happened is that most everything was a lie.  Take for instance the most recent events involving her and Dean.  If she would be believed based on what she told me, she was no longer in touch with him after a fight we had about him in February, but that would mean I would have to buy an entire litany of excuses for why she opened a private photo account for him in April, added him to her Facebook account in May, had his contact information on her iPhone when she came to visit in June and the fact he has visited this blog recently, not from links from Google in the UK where he is from, but from links for Google in Canada which is her home country.  So I could believe the numerous excuses she used to explain all of that, or just the simplest explanation, despite her saying otherwise, what was taking lace between them never really stopped at all, no matter what she told me to the contrary.

     But then I start to work mentally backwards, all the way back to almost the very beginning and her marriage and subsequent divorce.  To hear her tell the story, her husband was a hockey player, he was drafted by an NHL team, and apparently he was abusive towards her and after years of abuse she finally got a divorce, but only after an altercation between those two that resulted in him ending up in jail because a weapon was involved.  Sounds interesting enough, there is an Alan Graves who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, but he played only in the minor leagues in the WHL and the IHL for teams that were thousands of miles away from her hometown of Halifax, so if things were that bad at home, there would have been ample opportunity to leave because half of the year he would have been at least half a country away.  Plus there is no reference in any media outlet of this encounter, and if there is one thing I have learned living in a city with three professional sports franchises as well as plenty of collegiate teams, any time an athlete of any reknown is involved in an altercation, it will at least make the local papers.  There is also the fact that while her ex husband was allegedly in jail, he was also listed on her son's hockey team website as a coach as recently as two years ago.  Add to that the fact that during one of our audio chats a boy entered the room and she told this boy to go with his father, and while she was here on her first visit I received a strange phone call from a man saying that I was with his wife, and well I could either once again buy the litany of excuses that I was handed or apply Occam's razor again and just chalk most of those up as lies.

     But what to make of all of the lies then, why tell them, what is the purpose?  Well I could be wrong but the simplest explanation I can come up with is  she is someone who just loves attention, especially when that attention has a sexual component to it.  When she doesn't get the attention she either needs or thinks she deserves one of two things occurs, she either manufactures a drama of some sort in her head in hopes that it will create the attention she desires, or she seeks out someone else who will perform for her in a masturabatory manner.  (Did I just make up a word?)  I would think that her husband's lack of attention in that department (especially if he was away for months at a time) sent her on the web looking for replacements, and what better way than to come up with a sob story to prospective online suitors, and when he got wind of what was taking place in his absence that was probably the end of their marriage as much as anything. 

     Not that this explanation makes me feel good, it makes me feel stupid for falling for it actually.  I shouldn't have been so gullible that I shut off logic and common sense at the drop of a hat and bought the first (or second, or third) line that was being fed to me.  I should have walked away after the first lie, because one the behavior is established, there is little chance it would ever change.  Or at least I should have put a betting line out there, maybe an over/under on the number of lies in any given day and tried to make a few shekels off of it at least.  Sorry, I guess I violated the 9th Rule of Acquisition "Opportunity plus instinct equals profit".  I would have made a very bad Ferengi.

     Anyway, it is late, I need sleep, work comes in a couple of hours.  Toodles.

     

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sabres @ Penguins 10/05/2013

Pittsburgh 4  Buffalo 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 20 SV

Sidney Crosby, Chuck Kobasew, and Craig Adams all scored a goal for the second straight game


Sunday morning

     Sunday morning.  I suppose that for some people this would be a day of rest, not that I worked all that hard mind you.  For me it was just a day to reload one of the lottery machines at our Oakland store.  Given the store is so close to where I live anyway, it is all of a hop, skip and jump until I am there.  Getting out of the house isn't a bad thing either, the less I am sitting at home just mulling over what has taken place recently, probably the better.  Right now everything has that feel of newly frozen ice to it, the more I tread on it, the more likely it is that I will break.  There is still a large amount of justifiable anger and betrayal I feel, and it would be so easy to continue to give in to that mindset.

     Instead I am sitting in what I hope will be a calming place, the spot where Hope and I used to come all the time and just sit.  Usually those trips would not involve a lot of talking on either of our parts, but it was just being here in her presence that was a calming influence on me, now I find myself sitting in the very same spot, looking to recapture some of that lost magic, hoping that those pleasant memories can replace some of the more painful ones that are all to fresh in my mind at this point.  Ideally I would probably be best served if someone could come along and just wipe the last two years from my mind completely, but I know of no one who has that ability, so for now it is just my cross to bear.

     The first thing I noticed when I sat down here wasn't anything I had seen or heard, but rather the smell.  Not that this particular spot has a distinctive smell, but when I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, for just a moment I was transported back to my grandparent's camp, how the back yard, which was almost entirely shaded due to the number of tall trees there and the air just had a cleanness to it.  My uncle, Will, and I used to play whiffle ball in the back yard and we would always jokingly refer to that place as the Astrotreedome, as if we were taking are almost daily whiffle ball games we played on the road, instead of normal patch of grass we would use when back at home.

     Perhaps that is the start, just a simple memory of whiffle ball, that will set things off in a more positive direction.  It certainly can't hurt, and it is not just good, but good and true, and I am longing for truth these days.

     Gibran.  Another thing that just came to me as I was sitting here.  It was Hope who introduced me to "The Prophet" one day while we were sitting here.  Many of our quiet times here involved us reading, her a book of some kind, usually poetry and me, well I would be lugging along a copy of the current day's newspaper.   Occasionally we would share something we had come across in our respective readings, maybe it would be something profound, maybe something silly.  Whatever it was, it was just the experience of sharing something with her, in those moments there really was no place I would rather have been.  The experience could best be described by a line from Gibran's book, a book that Hope had shared with me, "A friend is a need answered."  Yes, she most certainly fit the bill in that regard.

     Sorry, I am smiling again.  More pleasant thoughts dancing in my head, this of our trip to the ballet to see The Nutcracker around Christmas time one year.  I remember wanting to do something special for her, so I splurged a little bit, probably more than was fiscally responsible for someone of my age and income at the time, and got us two center balcony seats to the show.  I opted for my attire a white tuxedo with teal tie and cummerbund and I thought, as the oldsters might say, that I was the cat's pajamas.  Hope had no idea I had rented a tux for the occasion, we didn't compare wardrobe notes prior to our evening, so I was going to show up at her house looking all dapper.  I get to her house, she is upstairs getting ready and I am talking to her mom while sitting in the living room and then she comes down the steps.  Honestly, I might as well have been wearing parachute pants or something, because as good as I thought I looked, she absolutely just blew me away.  I felt like a kid trying to impress his parents, there was me trying to look amazing, and then there was her and she just was amazing.  Simple as that.

     Well, as I sit here my coffee is getting cold.  I almost wish it were colder out that it is today, if for no other reason that what would make sitting here perfect would be for snowflakes to fall.  That is probably my most cherished memory of her, that no matter what we were doing or where we were, for the first snow of the year, whether it be a blizzard or just a couple of flakes that would land and melt away as quickly as they arrived, we would drop everything and meet wherever and have a hot chocolate together.  It is something that even though her and I have drifted apart (for reasons that I have blogged about years ago and have no need to rehash here) I still find myself doing every year for the first snow.  I would like to think that is something she remembers as does as well, and while I can't be certain of that, believing that she does is probably more comforting that actually knowing definitively one way or the other.

     Anyway, like it said, my coffee is getting cold and I still have to walk home.  Plus I don't want to burn off my iPad battery before I finish this.  But I needed this, maybe as much as anything right now.  Something that could remake this page my own again, without the influence of anyone or anything else.  If this keeps up, it may just feel good to be back.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Karaoke Friday - Normalcy

I know, I know, it's not Friday, you don't have to tell me that much.  But if I am going to get back on the blogging thing, I need to start doing some of the things I used to do, this would most certainly be one of them.  I can't say as I am ready to attempt to blog every day again just yet, or even most days, but this place is as good a place as any to escape life, even for a couple of minutes.

As for the video, I probably used it before, I am thinking maybe way back in the 360 days (the song is not recent after all), but it was one of the first ones that came to mind this evening when I sat down and decided I would do this again.  As always, feel free to sing along, or not, your choice.





I find you in the morning
After dreams of distant signs
You pour yourself over me
Like the sun through the blinds
You lift me up and get me out
Keep me walking but never shout
"Hold the secret close", I hear you say



You know the way it twists and turns
Changing color, spinning yarns
You know the way it leaves you dry
It cuts you up, and takes you high
You know the way it's painted gold
Is it honey? Is it cold?
You know the way it throws about.
It takes you in and spits you out



Oh, cuts you up
Oh, cuts you up
Oh, cuts you up
La, la, la...



On and on it goes
Calling like a distant wind
Through the zero hour we'll walk
We'll cut the thick and break the thin
No sound to break, no moment clear
When all the doubts are crystal clear
Crashing hard into the secret wind

You know the way it throws about.
It takes you in and spits you out
It spits you out when you desire
to conquer it, to feel you're higher
To follow it you must be clean,
with mistakes that you do mean
Move the heart, switch the pace
Look for what seems out of place


Oh, cuts you up
Oh, cuts you up
It's okay it goes this way.
The line it twists, it twists away
Cuts you up and spits you out
Keeps you walking, but never shout
La la la...


Friday, October 4, 2013

Devils @ Penguins 10/03/2013

Pittsburgh 3  New Jersey 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 27 SV

6 different Penguins recorded a point in the win




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Buctober begins

Sights and sounds from last night, the first post season baseball game played in Pittsburgh since 1992.


























Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Viewer mail

Often times when you open a magazine, either in the front or the back you will find comments, letters to the editor if you will.  I thought, when looking for something to write about this evening I would take the same tack.  I mentioned yesterday that I did receive some feedback from my first blog post in what seems like forever; from Mel who happens to be my cousin so I should expect that her feedback would be more positive than negative, and Ruth, who was the subject of that entry, so of course her feedback would be more negative than positive.  Admittedly I probably provoked some of this feedback with my first email to Ruth, but it is a comical exchange nonetheless if only because it shows such a disassociation with the truth and perhaps reality as well.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Receptions

Tis nice to once again be blogging just because I feel like it, though truth be told I can tell I am rusty at it.  I managed to reread my last entry, and while I have no critique of the content, my writing certainly needs a little work.  Far to often I found myself falling into the trap of overusing certain words or phrases.  I guess that comes from not exercising my mental muscle enough.

Beyond that I thought the blog went about as well as could be expected, a few people read it which I guess is a good thing, it means that there are still people out there (and who read, imagine that!!!).  While it lacked in comments, I have never been one who measures their blogs worth or lack thereof on some sort of statistical merit.  The blog is for me first, if anyone else gets something from it that is great, but it is not the mission of my writing to substitute what the page means to me in order to seek some sort of mass appeal.  I got some good feedback (thanks Mel) and well as some bad feedback (thanks Ruth) and really that is about all I could hope for.  I was not expecting any sort of ticker tape parade upon my return, and if your life was spent waiting for and hanging on my every word, well then I have to say you have an even sadder life than me.

Okay, a sad life is probably an overstatement.  In the grand scheme of things my life isn't that bad. Like I mentioned in the last entry, while I was away I did receive a promotion at work, so if someone were to ever make an organizational flow chart of where I work I would be somewhere near the very top of that chart, there might be a person or two ahead of me on that chart, but they would either be ownership, or Dee who has been there longer than me in the same position I currently reside.  So while before I was mostly responsible for keeping the store stocked and dealing with vendors and ordering, now balancing the books for one of our stores and dealing with the Pennsylvania lottery for both locations also falls under my purview.  (You can tell I am getting my blogging legs back because I just used purview in a sentence.)

The management thing is a work in progress for me though, I think I have an ample understanding of the books and an appreciation for pricing and what we need to make on most of our items in order to keep the business afloat, but I need to work on my people skills yet.  I do not have the patience of Job, that is for sure.  Hopefully I will get better at it with time, I just don't know how much time I will have.  Ed will be leaving for Florida soon, it is what he does every winter, and Dee just put her house up for sale because she is reaching a point in her life where I think she wants to move on to bigger and better things, but that also means at some point if I stay on the current path, all of the responsibilities will rest almost solely on my shoulders and I am not sure they are big enough to carry that large of a burden.

While I was away some other things have happened, or are about to.  Like tomorrow night, for the first time in the history of this blog the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to be involved in a post season baseball game.  Yes, those same hapless Pirates who, prior to this year, last had a winning season in 1992 are going to be playing meaningful baseball in October.  On the flip side of the coin, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have set a standard of if not excellence, then at least better than average football for the better part of the 40 years have started the season 0-4.  It is something out of bizarro world to behold, people in town talking about baseball in October and not football (unless it is to complain about how bad the football team is).  The only thing that would be stranger than this would be to wake up tomorrow morning and find out that Lindsay Lohan was clean and sober. Or that a Khardashian won an Oscar.  Just saying.

Anyway, I would like to stay and chat, but I still have invoices to do yet and at some point I might even make something to eat.  Who am I kidding, I will just order in.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Now where were we?

It seems like ages since I have actually sat down and banged out a blog entry.  It used to be that I could grind them out with a certain amount of frequency with which I thought I could at times be insightful, entertaining and sometimes even funny.    What actually happened to the good old days as it were?  Well for that kids, it is time once again to gather up ye olde Peabody and Sherman and visit the Wayback Machine.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I am back

It has been a long time, probably too long, but I am getting very close to posting something brand new in this space.  Before I post something new however, let's kick off my return party with a little music, music that is more than appropriate for reasons you will find out about soon enough.  Excuse me if I continue to substitute my name for Mack in the lyrics however.   Return of the Matt just sounds cooler to me.

Maestro, if you please


Our inspiration (the title for this blog)

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